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ECHOES AND REALITIES 



BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

THE IDYL OF TWIN FIRES 

THE BIRD HOUSE MAN 

BARN DOORS AND BYWAYS 
PLAYS AND PLAYERS 

THE AMERICAN STAGE OF TO-DAY 

AT THE NEW THEATRE AND OTHERS 

GREEN TRAILS AND UPLAND PASTURES 

PEANUT, CUB REPORTER 

BOY SCOUTS OF BERKSHIRE 

BOY SCOUTS IN THE DISMAL SWAMP 

BOY SCOUTS IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 

BOY SCOUTS OF THE WILD CAT PATROL 

BOY SCOUTS IN GLACIER PARK 

THE RUNAWAY PLACE (with zubb umdubixl) 

THE MAN WHO FOUND CHRISTBIAS 



ECHOES AND 
REALITIES 



BY 



WALTER PBICHAHD flATON 




NEW YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



* . • 



Copyright, 1918, 
By Oeorge H. Doran Company 



Printed in the United States of America 



• 



i 



1 

■If 



^ 

G 



TO 

CAPTAIN FRANKLIN P. ADAMS 



To the editors of The Atlantic Monthly , 
The Century y The American^ Everybody's 
and Pearson* s magazines. The New York 
Call, and especially to the editor of 
The New York Tribune, the author makes 
grateful acknowledgment of permission 
to reprint certain of these poems. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE 1 5 

MAY 30, I917 18 

BRIDGEPORT — ^FEB. 3, I917 22 

PREPAREDNESS 24 

TOWN MEETING 26 

PITTSBURGH — 1917 29 

WASHINGTON SQUARE — 1917 3 1 

ON READING CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS AFTER THE 

BIGELOW OUTRAGE 34 

THE DAILY PAPER 35 

THE BROOK 36 

THE FIELDS OF HOME 38 

THE TRUE TRAGEDY 39 

A WHITE-THROAT SINGS 40 

JANUARY THAW 4I 

SKIS 43 

hills and the sea 45 

the abandoned farm 48 

in a summer house 50 

the pine grosbeaks 53 

the little hills 55 

to one defending new york 5^ 

glacier park vignettes 

iceberg lake 60* 

heaven's peak 60- 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

TIMBER LINE 6l 

RISING WOLF 62 

LAKE ELLEN WILSON 63 

PIEGAN PINES 64 

A LITTLE boy's POEMS ABOUT TREES 

the pines 66 

the poplars 66 

the chestnut 67 

the birches 68 

the larches 68 

the willows 69 

"cherry ripe" 70 

a sap song 71 

ELMS 71 

THE CEDARS 72 

THE SPRUCE 72 

THE APPLE 73 

WHEN KREISLER PLAYS 74 

THE CORNER CUPBOARD 76 

EFFICIENCY 80 

VALUES 82 

IN UNION SQUARE 85 

MY FRIEND . 88 

"l ASKED OF LOVE — " 89 

TRANSFORMATION 90 

IN THE CATHEDRAL gi 

WHEN STELLA WADES 93 

MY HOPE 94 

[x] 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

"what HAVE I BROUGHT?" 96 

RESPONSIBILITY 98 

THE woman's kiss . 99 

THE MEMORY HATH ITS MILESTONES .... lOO 

love's doubt lOI 

A FORGOTTEN GARDEN ........ I02 

QUEST 103 

TWILIGHT MEADOWS IO4 

LOST 105 

THE LOVER SPEAKS I06 

THOUGHT 108 

AWAKENING IO9 

LIFE, THE TEMPTRESS IIO 

THE OLD POETS IIO 

OPPORTUNITY Ill 

ROMANCE Ill 

MIDDLE-AGED 112 

PAN ON 'change 113 

ITALY 113 

THE DEEP-SEA PORTERS II4 

NUDE — ^FOR A PICTURE IIS 

THE CANAL, PRINCETON II7 

ON THE SUMMIT II9 

A SONG FROM BROADWAY 121 

THE LILAC 123 

ON BEING WAKED BY A FACTORY GIRL SINGING . 1 25 

TO A FACE, ON THE RIALTO 127 

WASHINGTON SQUARE, NORTH 128 

THE CITY PIGEONS 1 29 

[xi] 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

SUNRISE FROM THE JERSEY SHORE I30 

MRS. FISKE AS HEDDA GABLER I3 1 

PINERO'S *'IRIS" 132 

THE COWARD I33 

THE SEARCH • • • I34 

LITTLE NATIONS I37 

REFUGEES I38 

LANTERN SHADOWS I4O 

THE PARASITE I4I 

HOME COMING I42 



[xiil 



ECHOES AND REALITIES 



ECHOES AND REALITIES 



On the Reinvasion of Russia 
Washington's Birthday, 1918 

This, O German men, is your great crime — » 
Not that you shot cathedrals to the earth, 
But that you strangled Freedom at its birth; 
Not that you followed, blind, your king's com- 
mand. 
To make of Belgium a desert land 
That he might gain a moment's time 
And thus advance 
To strike the heart of France, 
Who stood with sabre in her hand 
And raised the andent, thrilling battle-cry 
Which lifts men up and makes them gladly die. 
And who, across her borders, hurled, "Revenge I" 
But that, not blind at all, 
You saw the Russian tyrant fall, 

C15] 



TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE— (Co«riiftf^rf) 

You knew full well the import and the end, 
You knew your Russian brothers were no more 
A foe to you, nor coveted 
One inch of your dear land to rend, 
You knew that they were sick of war, 
You knew the slave-blood they had shed. 
You saw outstretched their comrade hand — 
And yet you brooked the old command, 
The "Forward, march 1" not asking where or why, 
And trampled non-resisting men. 
Their fate to die, 

But yours to see your homes again, 
To live in shame, 

Who could not even play the game, 
Who dared not, with a world to win. 
Break through the chains of discipline. 
And with a cry 

Bringing a clean dawn to the sky. 
To shout across the border lands, 
"Comrades, workers of the world. 
For you our battle flags are furled ; 
Take up our hopes, and clasp our hands. 
And bring your freedom to its birth — 
We, too, are slaves and know its worth!" 
Ah, no, instead you ground your German heel 
Upon fair Freedom's face, and you shall feel 
For this the sting of all the scorn 
[i6] 



TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE— (Coif/wa^rf) 
„ Of ages yet unborn; 

1 V 



Not scorn for men who are afraid to die, 
For you have met the hail of battle strife, 
But scorn for those who let their fate go by. 
Red scorn for men who are afraid of life 1 



^J, 



[17] 



I 
I 

I 
i 



iWap 30. 1917 

Across the fields a grieving bugle blew 
From out the village graveyard flecked with sun 
And bright with flags and little children's gowns. 
The children ringed the battle monument, 
And presently across the fields so sweet 
With May their May-time voices piped a song. 
To them the four old blue-clad men who stood 
Within the ring were — four old men; those 

hats 
A bit uncouth, the magic "G. A. R." 
Evoking not the long Miltonic roll 
The letters by their implication spell. 
Nor visions of that final great parade 
Down Pennsylvania Avenue. 

My hoe 
Dropped from my hand as boyhood memories 

woke . . . 
The smell of lilacs first, a heavy scent. 
Of lilacs fresh with rain or drenched with dew, 
Borne in great clusters to the monument 
Before the sun was fairly up ; and then 
The shrill staccato of the fife and drum, 
[i8] 



MAY 30, 1 91 7 — {Continued) 

The "Vet'rans" marching from their Post with 

flags 
Of silk most honourably torn, and guns 
That had, we knew, shot many a Rebel down. 
They marched erect, our fathers and their friends, 
The milkman by the carpenter, yet now. 
This day, removed a world apart from us 
And hallowed by their deeds. Their women 

folk 
In plodding file came on behind, each one 
With flowers in a basket for some grave. 
Then we, the children, fell in step at last. 
Or tried to keep in step, and after prayer 
Beside the monument (the prayers were long 
And you could hear the rustle of the wind. 
The clinking of the Captain's sword, the scrape 
Of feet down on the gravel drive, and scores 
Of other sounds, each growing more distinct. 
Before the Chaplain came to his "Amen"), 
We sang, "How Sleep the Brave," the band 

struck up 
A dirge, the files moved off by many paths 
To decorate the graves, and then a squad 
Mounted the highest knoll for the salute. 
The little girls jammed fingers in their ears. 
We boys rejoiced to hear the sharp commands 
And scrambled for the empty shells. "My dad 

[19] 



MAY 30, 191 7 — (Continued) 

Was in the squad 1" was some boy's proudest 

boast. 
We went at length back to the meeting house 
And heard brave deeds rehearsed again, and saw 
The pulpit draped with flags. When all was 

done 
We wandered home, our young hearts stirred, the 

thoughts 
Of battles and of glory crowding us. . . . 

Across the fields so sweet with May a dirge 
Came drifting, and the spell was gone. Not for 
The ancient dead the trombone's plaintive blare, 
The muffled drum beat like a heart in pain, 
But for the young, the strong, about to die I 
I hate a pulpit now dressed up for war 
In blasphemy of bunting; all my past 
Seems sometimes wiped from out my conscious^ 

ness 
Till I stand alien to my kith and kin, 
And while their banners wave anew, to me 
An ancient, useless horror seems once more 
To grasp a helpless world, too weak for Love. 

My heart ached as I took my hoe again. 
Alone between the threads of sprouting seed, 
And went about my toil. A red-start hopped 
Close by, with funny up-flicks of his tail, 
To catch the insects that my hoe disturbed. 
[20] 



MAY 30, 1917 — {Continued) 

I thought the warblers never were so tame 

As this sad spring, and paused to watch my 

friend, 
While from the graveyard moved the village 

throngs 
Out toward the pulpit draped with flags of war, 
And o'er the fields so sweet with May there 

throbbed 
.Tbose aching drum-taps for the living dead. 



[21] 



IRxibQtpmU Jfe6. 3, 1917 

I WAS in Bridgeport, February three, 

Walking along the business thoroughfare 

In search of any shop where I could buy 

A pad of paper on which to inscribe 

A poem about the pheasants and the cold. 

New clothes, new rugs, new rings, new cars — a 

swarm 
Of glossy Fords were darting through the street — 
Could be procured, but war prosperity 
Had not yet caused a wide demand for pads 
To pen immortal verse upon. At length 
I saw a hopeful sign, and made to cross 
The way, when in a window by my side 
A man appeared and hung a bulletin i — 
VON BERNSTORFF GETS HIS PASSPORTS, 

read the black 
And startling print, amid a window full 
Of pink and foolish waxen mannikins 
Unclad in lacy underwear and hose. 
I felt a dull knock in my chest; "It's come," 
I thought, "this Monster that we all abhor I" 
I did not heed the silly, silken legs 

[22] 



BRIDGEPORT, FEB. 3, 1917— (Continued) 

That flanked the staring print; I only saw 
The grey ships steaming for the open sea» 
The thunder cloud of horror rolling up. 

A little crowd had gathered at my back, 
Reading aloud the brief and startling words. 
Some laughed ; two women passed the bulletin 
To comment on the lingerie; an oath 
Or two damned Germany : — ^then down the street 
The clangour sounded of a ladder truck, 
And close behind the engine belching sparks; 
"A fire!" rose the cry, and quite alone 
I stood before the black, momentous print. 
A trifling blaze around the block, and they 
Forgot the conflagration of the world I 

Oh, little Man, in little space confined, 
How smaller than thy destiny thou art, 
Serene, complacent, in a petty round. 
Unconscious shoved upon Inferno's brink, 
Because across the seas are other men. 
Thy brothers, who have been complacent, too I 
How long, O Lord, are we to stay so small, 
Accepting destiny from Kings' red hands, 
Behind the Trader seeing not the scorn? 



[23] 



/ 



A DOZEN of US talked preparedness 
Around the stove, and got nowhere, of course. 
Tom Noble, coming in for Blackstones, though, 
Would not join with us in our talking match — 
He said the subject got him "all het up." 
But still, he added, glaring hard around, 
He wouldn't stand no German tellin' him 
What boat is safe for him to cross upon; 
And as he left and slammed the door behind, 
We heard "a nation's honour" wafted back. 
'Twas pretty generally agreed, I think. 
That we should have an army big enough 
For every purpose of defence, though what 
We were to be defended from not one 
Of us could clearly say; and then, of course, 
We mustn't spend too much nor boost the cost 
Of living up — it's high enough, God knows 1 
Just look at gasolene I 

I left at last. 
Sick with the futile talk and unctuous love 
For images of battle underneath 
The talk, and headed for the mountainside. 

[24] 



PREPAREDNESS— (Con/iiftr^i/) 

'Twas coming on to snow and in the woods 
I heard the litde hissing of the flakes 
As they came down on pine and hendock boughs, 
A gentle, soothing music to my ears. 
A partridge, like a snare drum, boomed away 
Down the white hollow of the frosted brook. 
Aloft, somewhere, two branches, interlocked, 
Uttered that human cry aU woodsmen know. 
My snowshoes pattered softly and the drop 
Of tiny snowballs from the wind-stirred trees 
Were elfin exclamations in the woods. 
The winter wilderness held talk with me 
And I forgetful grew, an4 well content. 

Then suddenly I picked up human tracks, 
And curious to see what was afoot 
Followed their lead. Beneath a frosted nave. 
Where Palestrina would be none too pure, 
A shot had rung — the shell lay on the snow — 
And then, with twenty paces up the aisle, 
The man had reached his prey. Upon the snow 
I saw the crimson stain. A life wiped out, 
A pretty, forest-roving rabbit gone, 
Because a man had blood-lust in his heart 
And in his hand a gun I 

I saw the snow 
Before the hell-swept trenches of Verdun, 
And it grew red and redder as I watched. 

[25] 



Our annual town meeting came to-day 

And all the voters gathered in the hall — 

The males who constitute our little town, 

So much like other little towns up here 

Among the hills, or elsewhere through the 

land. 
They tell us we Americans are soft, 
Unnerved and flabby with luxurious life, 
And War's the thing to harden us, of course. 
I looked around the room, and had to smile. 
Down front a Tory sat (we have them still, 
And they are loudest in the cry to arms) 
And he was soft, I must admit, and fat. 
In spite of Plattsburg drill six months ago. 
I counted five, among three hundred strong. 
Who pay, I know, a Federal income tax, 
And all of them were soft — and all for War. 
The rest — ^the thing's a grizzly joke — ^the rest 
Have never had a chance at luxury. 
You can't grow soft if you are cutting wood 
All day upon the mountain side, in snow 
Above your knees, or feeding it against 

[26] 



TOWN MEETlNG^(Contmued) 

The snarling, singing, hungry saw; my fat 
And warlike Tory friend would be a wreck 
If he pitched cord wood for an hour. You 

can't 
Grow soft by milking fourteen cows a day, 
Nor holding true a plough in broken sod, 
Nor filling gravel teams, nor hauling mail 
In storm and shine, in sleet and cold, four times 
Each day against our winter winds, nor yet 
By rising when the world is dark and chill 
To shake the furnace for our Tory friend 
So he may find it warm at breakfast time. 
It's true our workers in the mills are few — 
We haven't many soft with Hnty lungs; 
I fancy they need War to harden them 
(It's such a pleasant recreation, too) ; 
But we have carpenters with dainty hands, 
And station porters stale with wrestling trunks, 
And gardeners who've never dug enough, 
And other workers at the world's slim wage 
Who will be glad to know that luxury 
Has made them soft in vicious idleness! 
They sat there in this crowded hall — against 
The five, the hundreds who by daily toil 
And hard economy make both ends meet 
And once a week take in a picture show. 
If they are soft, the only reason is 

[27] 



TOWN MEETING--(Continued) 

That meat now costs so much they're under-f ed- 
But do we need a War to alter that? 
Perhaps we do — ^but not the sort of War 
Our pufied, portentous Tory has in mind I 



im 



H^ittOmttfy—Xn? 

We plunged through mountains naked, black, and 

scarred. 
With soot-stained hovels clinging to their flanks. 
And belching chimneys where a mine shaft 

yawned, 
And came at length into a canyon slit 
Where smoke clouds hovered overhead so dense 
The sun ball was an orange disk, or rolled 
Upon the slow wind down the valley lane 
To soil and poison and defile ; great stacks 
Arose and poured their midnight-tinted plumes 
Into the currents of the lazy air; 
The lesser stacks, in ranks like forest trees — 
Denuded trees with not a top or branch — 
Poured lesser plumes of brown and grey and 

white 
And cruel yellow, sinister and foul. 
An open door was like a velvet cave 
Lit with a white-hot glare, and pigmy men 
Seemed but the pumice bits forever churned 
Helpless in some volcano's boiling depths. 
Where two foul rivers with their fairest names 

[29] 



PITTSBURGH— 191 7— ( Continued) 

Meet to roll onward toward the setting sun, 
The city piled its soot-smutched monuments, 
Its towers, houses and hotels, and sucked 
The smoke and looked most prosperous and 
black. 



[30T 



Is this the same old Square, kissed fresh by May, 

Where once I used to sit and face the row 

Of red brick houses and the Roman arch, 

Filled with the wine of youth and rosy dreams? 

The little girls are hopping still across 

The same chalked lines and back again ; the boys 

Are splashing water from the drinking jet; 

The nurse maids congregate; the under world 

Yields up into the warming sun its dregs — 

God's images who paw the wind-blown sheets 

Of any paper that comes floating by 

(The Journal or the World preferred) ; the trees 

Are putting forth the same green haze above ; 

And on the walk there loiter past my bench, 

Each to the other leaning amorous, 

The same drab lovers aureoled with Spring: 

Above the traffic's din for undersong, 

I hear the waltz some hurdy-gurdy plays I 

No, not the samel The ancient thrill is 
gone; 
The memory of faces bobbing past 
And shoulders gleaming in the golden light, 

[31] 



WASHINGTON SQVAKEn^igiJ— (Continued) 

Of fragrant hair that brushed my chin, and warm 

Sweet glances as the music died away ; 

Of one whose perfume was provocative, 

And one who shut her eyes and showed her 

throat 
!i^s though she yielded to the violins ; — 
It does not come — I call to it in vain 
That once awoke, no matter what the place, 
To wrap me in a rosy revery 
At summons of the hurdy-gurdy^s waltz. 

A khaki figure paces on the curb 
To guard the Russian consulate; the flags 
Are whipping down the wind ; against the sky 
They seem like crimson flowers suddenly. 
How beautiful they are, how full of life. 
How terrible and tragic 1 And how real 1 

I wish that waltz would stop. How old I 

am, 
How old the world I Did we once dance, and 

throb. 
And dream our rosy dreams, and did Spring 

come 
With petalled fingers to our dusty Square 
And make an opal of the fountain spray? 
That little g^rl has missed her hop and had 
To put her other foot to earth. She laughs 
And tries again. Her little throat is white. 

[32] 



WASHINGTON SQUARJEr^igiJ— (Continued) 

A few more years . • . 

The hurdy-gurdy man 
Has shifted to a ragtime tune, and I 
Can go about my business up Broadway. 



[33] 



^n Seiealiins Certain ^t\x^fiifapttsi ^tttx 
Ifyt iBiselotD <^ttage 

What ugly wound is this my country bares? 

'Tis we, her people, struck her in the back; 

She whose proud boast it is no man shall lack 

For liberty of voice in her affairs. 

She who affirms the bravest him who dares 

To stand against the loud majority. 

And at his truth hurls not the bitter "Lie"; 

She who for all the robe of Justice wears-^ 

'Tis she we struck, and not her enemies ; 

They are no foe of hers who will not take 

The easy path of mild complacencies. 

But bear the lash of scorn for conscience* sake ; 

It will not aid Democracy's advance 

To make a virtue of intolerance. 



[34] 



I THOUGHT of all the places that I knew 
Where silence dwells, and peace, to choose me 

one 
That I might share it with the warming sun; — 
I saw a meadow streaked with gentian blue 
While all around the silver willows grew; 
I heard the lisp of water on the run 
Down mountain rocks when April has begun; 
I felt against my feet the upland dew: 
There is a park beneath the Great Divide 
Where every chalice cup puts on a crown, 
And only stillness and sweet peace abide; 
I will go there, thought I, and sit me down, 
Nor read of sin and slaughter any more— 
"The paper," said my wife, "is at the door/* 



[35] 



The grey columnar beeches old 

Bore up a roof of autumn gold, 

And flowing through their solemn aisle 

The little brook was still awhile; 

But soon I reached the mountain wall 

And found the brook a water-fall: 

It leapt from green and shadowed ledges 

Bedecked with ferns and dripping sedges; 

It brought the coolness of the heights 

To flash and gleam with dancing lights; 

It sent a moist wind to my face 

And chilled with dew the mossy place ; 

It tumbled with a gentle roar 

To reach at last the forest floor. 

I listened all that autimin day 

To hear what it might have to say— ^ 

The age-old effort to translate 

The speech of things inanimate. 

I only know its tinkling thunder 

Was all of joy and primal wonder, 

Of dim, forgotten, happy ways 

We wandered ere these latter days; 

[36] 



THE BROOK— <Coii/mtffrf) 

I only know that when I left 
I walked as one long since beref£» 
And minded after dulling years 
Oi his great loss — and close to tears. 



[371 



Wbt jfitlbi of l^mnt 

How soft the evening shadows creep 

Across the fields of home; 
How gently falls the wind asleep, 
The little clouds their places keep 

Beneath the vast sky dome. 

hear the far brook murmuring; 

Before he seeks his nest 
I hear a lone bird sweetly sing, 
And catch the sunset on his wing 

Against the golden west. 

Dear fields of home, serene and calm. 

In rock and verdure clad. 
Whence for the spirit comes your balm. 
Why do my dumb lips shape a psalm. 

Why is my soul so glad? 

The wars of men have shaken me. 

My faith their doubt besets ; 
But you are as you used to be. 
The shadows creep from every tree, 

And my hurt soul forgets. 

[38] 



Poor frozen garden, lying under snow, 
Will your buds awaken, will your roses blow? 
Will this poor world ever shed the pall of war? 
Shall we love each other as we loved before? 

Yes, frozen garden, you will wake again, 
Sprouting cups of tulips in the April rain. 
And when men are weary they will stop the war, 
Loving then each otheri — as they loved before I 



[39] 



9 nObite-ttPbtoat i^ingfi 

From ancient Edens long forgot 

^He felt a breath of spring. 
And in the leafless apple tree 
He heard a white-throat sing. 

(With fluted triplets, clear and sweet. 
The bird proclaimed its joy, 

And on the withered orchard grass 
The man became a boy : 

A boy who ran, a boy who dreamed. 

In April sun and rain ; 
Who knew all good was happiness, 

All evil only pain. • • • 

Sing on, O white-throat in the tree, 
He does not hear you now I 

The years are trampling on his heart 
And armies o'er his brow. 

From ancient Edens long forgot 

No resurrection comes 
Until the smallest sparrow's song 

Is louder than the drums I 
[40] 



The pines stood dripping In the rain to-day, 

Their needles clinging each to each until 

It seemed the trees were thinner and let through 

More of the grey light than on sunny days ; 

Quiet they were, as well, and spoke not once 

Of their great sister, the resurgent sea. 

I watched a draggled squirrel run along 

A slender limb, releasing as he sprang 

A shower of drops like shaken quicksilver. 

The cheerful chickadees were draggled, too. 

Their neat breasts ruffled and their voices still. 

Beyond the pines a pool of water stood 

Upon the iris beds, and dank, dead leaves 

That covered up the foxglove plants were spots 

Of gloom amid the snow; the compost heap 

Was faintly steaming in the humid thaw, 

A black volcano risen through the ice. 

I sloshed through pools and saw the scum cling 

'round 
My rubber boots in thin, grey lines ; I went 
Indoors again and tried to read, in vain— - 
The words upon the page were meanmgless, 

[41] 



JANUARY THAW— (Continued) 

And worse the words I tried to write myself. 
Then, quietly, as such things come to pass, 
A wind arose and shook the pines to speech, 
The mystic language of their sister sea ; 
The west broke clear ; the pools on lawn and bed 
Were crinkled into gold ; a bird sang out 
To bid the day farewell. 

I tried my book 
Again, and, lo I the words made melody, 
A poet had shaped them to his bosom's need I 



[42] 



A PALE new moon hung in the western sky 
Above the banners of retreating Day, 
Almost it seemed a golden aeroplane 
To spy on Night, pursuing from the east. 
The summit elm where I stood sent out 
An endless shadow from the light, so faint 
It was a dimming breath of amethyst 
Across the mirror of the wind-swept snow. 
The world, I thought, had never been so still ; 
I heard the tinkle of a blown ice chip. 
The crack of frozen bark within the tree 
As with the night the day's thaw stiffened up, 
The faint, far baying of a village dog; 
But other sound was not, except the wind, 
Viewless and chill, forever rushing by. 
Below my feet the pasture dropped away 
With white-capped boulders strewing it, a long 
Descent to that toy bam and tiny house 
That snuggled warmly by the valley road, 
Behind a hemlock screen. I pulled my cap 
More firmly down about my ears, drew in 
One last deep breath of stinging air, and slipped 

[43] 



SKIS^iContinued) 

My skis across the rim : then farewell breath, 

And ahnost vision, too, as tears rolled down 

My cheeks, while past my face the riven air 

Tore by, and all the hillside flew to meet 

My flying figure with a low-hissed song — 

The song of rapid runners deaving snowl 

A moment only, and the bam appeared 

Looming beside me, that had been a toy. 

A stem with all my strength, a spurt of snow, 

And I was through the gate, where ran the road 

Sedate and level past the valley farms. 

Far up above me on the lonely hiU 

My summit elm sentinelled the ridge, 

A toy tree children might take out and stand 

Beside their soldiers on the play-room floor. 



[44] 



We rushed down rolling highways from the hills 
Until the low horizon flattened out 
And over yellow marsh grass came a wind, 
Caressing, soft, and smelling of the brine ; 
Then up a crest we sped, and saw the seal 
Blue to the sky-line lay its wrinkled plain 
And from the circle's edge the blue sky climbed. 
Pearl-tinted to the east, with quiet clouds 
Afloat above the white winged ships below. 
Our engine stopped and in the hush we heard 
The sea song of the surges rolling in, 
Surges that come from far adventuring 
To lay their burdens on the yellow sands. 
With ceaseless murmur or reverberate boast. 
How good that sound, how sweet the briny smell I 
How leapt the spirit out to meet the sea I 
And all that night we woke to hear the surf 
Booming its way along the beach, to smell 
The seaweed and the salt, to feel on sheet 
And hair the damp caresses of the fog. 

Next day a red sun burned the mists away 
Till underneath my feet the sands were hot 

[45] 



HILLS AND THE SEA— (Continued) 

As I walked barefoot and apart, fleeing 

The other bathers with their merry shouts, 

To let the ocean have its way with me. 

The foam-white combers charpng up the beach; 

The booming surf song, and the steady wind 

Which made a tiny shrilling in the grass 

That marks in clumps the winter tides' advance; 

The steel-bright pathway toward the sun; the 

warmth 
Of sun and sea wind on my naked skin ; 
The far horizon's luring line ; the smell 
Of seaweed and the sting of spray — all these 
My senses caught in half unconsciousness, 
While deep within a great emotion came 
To swim far out upon that heaving plain 
And be forever part of its great bulk, 
Its vastness, power and eternity. 
"The sea 1" I breathed, and childhood memories 

woke. 
The memory of wonder and of dreams. 
And youthful visions, too, when magic worlds 
Lay down below the sky-line, and the heart 
Was hot with longing for the siren quest. 
"The sea I" I cried again, and plunged headfirst 
Into a comber's curling green embrace. 

Another day; — ^we sped twixt rolling farms, 
Or through drab towns where men toiled dustily, 
[46] 



HILLS AND THE SEA— (Continued) 

Back toward the hills, and saw at length supine 
Against the west our smoke-blue mountain wall. 
Again our engine stopped, and in the pause 
The silver trumpet of a hermit thrush 
Made elfin welcome from the hemlock depthsi 
That fell away below, into a vale 
Where wound our road up toward the hills of 

home. 
How vast the smoke-blue rampart lay beneath 
A sky where sunset clouds were gathering; 
How sweet its curve, like some fair woman's 

breast; 
How in its swelling roll and mighty dip 
Eternity was pictured by a line I 
God's chamber beams are laid upon the deep, 
Yet lift we up our eyes unto the hills 
And, lo I again the vastness and the dream. 
Beyond our rampart, salmon tinted now. 
Lay the bright mansions of the heart's desire I 
Our engine coughed to life, we slid ahead, 
Down through the hemlocks in the mountain chill, 
And raced the twilight, marching from the east, 
Back to a house beneath the mountain wall. 



[47l 



No other ruin of the homes of men 

Is quite like this abandoned farm beneath 

The mountain wall, its mouse-grey shingles 

curled, 
Its mouse-grey boarding worn with storm and 

sun 
To furry hollows picking out the grain. 
Its windows gone, its roof-tree sagged awry, 
A bitter-sweet around the chimney twined, 
OPink fire weed and fragrant raspberries 
Tangling the square where once the bam arose. 
The orchard trees are wild with water spouts. 
The flaming painter's brush and Queen Anne's 

lace 
Run riot where the mowing stood; each field 
Once hewn with bitter, patient toil, and held 
Against the inroads of the forest hosts, 
Defenceless now is giving up the fight, 
Yielding each year a little more dean land 
Back to the slow devouring wilderness. 
The Old World ruins were the prey of age. 
Or war, perchance, or changing rule that hurled 

[48] 



THE ABANDONED FARM— (Continued) 

One people downward as another climbed; 
Close by, around them, life goes on; but here 
Life has receded like a falling tide, 
Leaving this record of the pioneer 
Who reached the utmost height, as on the beach 
Some living thing is left, to fight and die, 
And mark at last the tide's insurgent bound 
By its grey ^ell sea worn and touched with pearl. 
The mountain ever broods above, the clouds 
Across its flank their shadow anchors trail; 
The winter drifts pile high ; the shy deer browse. 
Or paw for apples underneath those trees 
Set out by hands that Death long since has 

clasped. 
Dust unto dust, and plank to tree returns I 
But I beneath the mighty mountain's bulk 
Look from the ruin to the sheer grey rocks. 
Not pitiful of Man so much as glad 
That Nature still her power holds, and still 
Must we fight on and breed up pioneers. 



[491 



\ 



3n a ftommet jl^tmsit 

The climbing roses are a burst of pink 
Over the trellised arch that makes a gate 
Out of my garden to the little spot 
That I have cleared behind the sumach hedge. 
About a rough-made summer house entwined 
With creeper like a ruin ; on the pool 
A water lily floats — ^the first this year — 
And yields its heavy fragrance to the sun ; 
The Canterbury bells are faintly stirred, 
The larkspur spires drowse in loveliness; 
And I must pause to look before I pass 
Under the arch and settle to my toil. 

Alas 1 the interruptions of mankind 
Are nothing to the soft insistencies 
Of life about my summer house. A world 
Of little things, of bumblebees and birds, 
Of bugs and vagrant flower scents, of clouds 
Fantastic on a summer sky and songs 
That whisper in the grass — ^this world is mine 
Behind the sumach hedge, and being mine 
Assumes a quaint priority, try as 
I will to keep my mind chained down to worM*. 

[50] 



/ 

I 



IN A SUMMER IiOVSFr-^{Continued) 

Two wrens have nested in a box half hid 
Beneath the vines that canopy my seat. 
The father calls and mother wren darts out 
Her pretty head, looks right and left, then leaves 
The nest while he comes in with provender. 
I note that he can sing with bill tight closed, 
Calling his mate yet keeping fast his bug. 
Out in the grass a chipping sparrow hops 
Seeking a dandelion gone to seed; 
He settles to the task, and one by one 
Strips all the seeds down to the naked crown, 
A brave protector of the lawn! The bees 
Are busy in a flower cup, their hum 
Singing around me with a rhythmic pulse: 
A goldfinch swoops into the cosmos plants 
To sway there like a Japanese design : 
Along the boarding at my feet two ants 
Are tugging home a caterpillar skin: 
Across the rye behind my house a wind 
Goes wandering, and suddenly I see 
The green sea surges marching on the shore 
And hear their long drawn thunder in the trees — 
The far off echo of a memory. 
Beyond the rye, beyond the brook, a hill 
Domes up, and over it the west wind piles 
The high Himalayas of the cumuli. 
Mount Everests of shadowed white against 

[51] 



IN A SUMMER HOUSE— (Continued) 

The summer sky's serenity. I watch 
Their summits shift and roll, day dreaming still 
Like any boy, of heights cerulean. 
The bees hum on, a hundred tiny sounds 
Proclaim a universe below the grass; 
Naught but the cries of children far away. 
So sweet and shrill as only playtime breeds. 
Disturb me with the thoughts of human folk. 
Still on my table blankly stares the pad 
I came here to blot black with inky words, 
While in their nest the little wrens complain, 
And languid summer flows in fragrant tide 
Across the green Sargasso of the grain. 



C5aT 



A SILVER hush was in the woods to-day, 

Where frozen rain had gemmed each pendent 

branch 
And laid transparent lacquer on the snow. 
In open glades the low sun smote my eyes 
As on a glassy sea, ;ind under foot 
The constant squeak and crackle of my heels 
Was strangely loud amid the silences. 
The hoof print of a deer, a shredded cone 
Left from a squirrel's meal, a pheasant's bed 
Beneath a hardback bush, a rabbit road 
Packed hard before the rain came — ^these alone 
Were signs of life; and no sound but my heels. 
Then, suddenly, high in an evergreen 
Above a pasture edge I heard the soft, 
Sweet, whispering twitter of a flock of birds, 
And saw their rosy bosoms catch the light — 
The shy pine grosbeaks, strangers from the 

North I 
They did not sing, but talked among themselves 
And kept seclusion in this friendly pine, 
Not even scolding me, as if, perchance, 

[S3] 



THE PINE GROSBEAKS— (Con^wtt^i/) 

They knew not man but thought me some odd 

deer 
Or other woodland wanderer. The sun 
Was lower now, and in the west a glow 
Of gold and salmon gleamed between the trees, 
And purple shadows crept along the snow. 

I thought how but the day before, in town, 
A friend had pitied me, amazed because 
I dwelt outside the whirlpool of New York, 
And had not seen the latest play, nor heard 
Some magic concert in a scented hall. 
*'What do you find to do up there?" he said. 

I watched the simset daggers through the 
pines, 
I heard the soft, sweet cheeping of the birds, 
The alien grosbeaks from their frozen North, 
I let the sting of Winter fill my lungs ; 
And then I laughed aloud. A scale of ice 
Came rattling down and tinkled on the crust; 
The grosbeaks fluttered in the dusking tree. 
Then settled back to roost again. 

Once more 
A hush of rose and silver wrapped the world. 



[54] 



mt utttie mm 

The light was laughing on the little hills 
When he crawled forth from out the city's press, 
Nerve-racked and ill and full of gloomy thoughts, 
And on the door step of an ancient house. 
Worn smooth by vanished feet, sat down and 

heard 
Familiar voices calling in the fields. 

Surely the stillness of the noon was good I 
Those voices were as music on the air, 
Fraught with remembrance of forgotten things; 
Or like the sudden gurgle of the brook 
That leaped a rock and ran on silently 
Where spruces arched its mossy bed and cool 
Green ferns bent down to hide a trout. Far off 
And faint a cow bell tinkled drowsily; 
Across the pasture slope the summer clouds 
Their shadow anchors trailed, and drew more 

near, 
And swept a purple gloom across his feet; 
The sleepy hum of insects half unheard 
Sang like the strings of some far orchestra ; 

[55] 



THE LITTLE HILLS— (Continued) 

And through the open door he caught the stir 
Of household life, the crooning sounds of home. 
Slowly his tired eyelids drooped; the swarm 
Of buzzing thoughts that plagued unceasingly 
Drew off, and left his mind a soothing blank : 
And all the voices of the summer day 
Gathered into a song articulate: — 

Poor pilgrim of the ways of man that end 
In sorrow soon, 
Canst thou not see the blue sky bend 
Behind the little hills? 
Come, in the nectar of the brimming noon 
Drown all your ills I 

The human heart that hungered once for fame 
Hungers at last 
For comfort of the humble name 
Breathed o'er its infancy — 
The vcnn pursuit and empty struggle past, 
The true things be. 

You trailed the wraith of knowledge high and low, 
And fought for wealth; 
But your own self you did not know, 
And poor you are and weak: 
There are no riches like the body's health, 
And souls must speak. 

[56] 



THE LITTLE HILLS— (Continued) 

Not in the ways of man the Voice is heard. 
Not in the fiffht; 
But in the silence: as a bird 
Wakened from its first sleep 
Makes lonely music in the summer night 
And star light deep. 

The little hills are calling you away, 
The air is sweet, 
And silent is the long, sweet day: 
Awake, O dreaming heart. 
Grown cold and barren in the stifling street. 
Know what thou art I 

Then slumber came, the slumber of a child. 
And when he woke and saw the sun's decline, 
Wistful, he sought his mother out and kissed 
Her on the cheek and bade her make the bed 
In his old room beneath the eaves. And she, 
Not understanding him, her youngest child, 
Who from the hearth had gone away so soon 
To live his life apart, in different wise. 
With friends and fancies far above her ken. 
Smiled suddenly a happy smile and ran. 
As one who sees at last her mission clear, 
To bring the linen from the cedar chest. 



[57] 



QPo 0nt Sef enbins iBtetu l^otfc 

Your voice was loudest in the counter plea, 
That urged us, Atlas-like, to bear our load 
And cease our whining, since the choice was 

ours; 
Yours was the chide: "Du hast es ja gewoUtl'* 
— ^The poet's pity but the poet's scorn. 
Perhaps I thought your chide unjust; perhaps 
The word was on my tongue of hot reply; 
I know not, for a sudden vision came. 
And all your speech, the rumblings of the town 
You would defend, the hated streets, the heat 
And dirt and turmoil were as not. Your face 
Alone remained out of the misty dream 
That had a moment gone been what we were — 
Six men and women on a dusty stoop. 
Worn thin with heat and toil and poisoned 

air. 
And on that face no frown of contest sat, 
And from your lips no word of chiding came. 
For we two were alone amid the hills 
Where all our little speeches are as froth 
Upon the ocean of God's stillness visible. 

[58] 



TO ONE DEFENDING NEW YOIiK— (Continued) 

And while I wondered why words ever were 
And watched the hours passing in your eyes, 
Your lips were parted without sound to greet 
The silence and the sky space and the stars I 



[59] 



Glacier Ij^tk "H^ifpxttttst 
Severs %tAt 

A SEMI-CIRCLE of ^gantic rock 

Around the mirror of a cold green lak( 

Three thousand feet precipitous and grim : 

A meadow sown with grass and stars of gold. 

With drifts of snow and blue forget-me-nots: 

And far aloft a goat that clambers down, 

A white speck crawling on immensity. 



A HOLE of shadow deep below 
Into the forest-darkened gulf, 
Then rising up, 
Snow capped, pyramidal. 
Proud like the Matterhonii 
The mighty mountain 
Jewelled with the sun. 



[60] 



<5LACIER PARK VIGNETTES— (6 o^rintt^rf) 



IKinAtt %int 

The tortured trees of timber line, 

So small, so old, 

So twisted by the wind. 

So bent and wracked and beaten to the ground, 

Yet so alive and fighting to the end. 

Are like those prophets of the world's advance, 

Who face the storm sleet 

Of the scorn of men. 

Grow old and hard 

And bare with buffets on the breast, 

To die at last 

High on the uplands with their dream I 



[6i] 



GLACIER PARK VIGVimES— {Continued) 



Xlteins Wolf 

Here where the swift green river has its source 

In three sweet lakes, 

Old Rising Wolf stands up, 

Four-square and strong, 

To sentinel the range — 

A grave, benignant dome of brown and red: 

Pathless his shaggy sides, 

And no man climbs 

To view from that outstanding height 

The ghost drives of the buif alo. 



[62] 



GLACIER PARK VIGNETTES— (Coiiriii«^rf) 



JUiit Cllm VRiXsum 

An oval mile of emerald 

Set in a cirque of vast, fantastic rocks; 

Above, the snow fields climbing to the sky. 

Below, far off, the blue, mysterious plains; 

A little wind has made the water crawl ; 

A little cloud, a white balloon 

That trails its anchor down the slope. 

Has swept that shadow out across the lake, 

And, lol 

The emerald Is an amethyst. 



[631 



GLACIER PARK VIGNETTES— {Continued) 



I SHALL be one with these pines 

Some happy day I 

Dwarfed by the wind and moulded by the saow, 

They burst pink cones 

In a meadow starred with violets. 

No sound they hear 

But the mountain wind, 

The bird-like chirp of the ground squirrels, 

The tinkle of ice water brooks 

Across the grass, 

The far, soft thunder of out-leaping streams 

That glide like silver hair down dripping 

cliffs 
From glaciers on the Great Divide — 
The hair of Melisande grown white with peace. 
All night I lay beneath the stars 
And heard the breeze-borne thunder; 
I saw the sun 

Blush on the glaciers while the world was dark, 
Then pry the gloom out of the hole beneath; 
I saw the golden violets 
Nod in the rising breeze; 

[64] 



j 



GLACIER PARK VIGNETTES— (Co«riif«^^) 

I drank from brooks of melting snow. 
And said good morning to a deer. 
I shall be one with these pines 
Some happy day! 



165} 



little 9^'< 9atmsi flbottt tCtee^ 

tB3^e $ineK 

I THINK I like the pines the best, 
'Cause when the sun is in the west 
And all the other trees are still, 
*Cept, p'raps, the poplars on the hill, 
And Sue is being dressed for tea 
And no one's left to play with me, 
The pines still have a tale to tell. 
Just like the murmur in a shell; 
I love to hark and hear them sigh; 
And yet I'm sad — I wonder why? 



The slender poplars always grow 
In a long and solemn row. 
Marching gravely by the wall 
Like a leafy funeral. 
I guess you would never think 
That I've seen the poplars wink I 



[66} 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
(Continued) 



Wbt Cbtitmt 

The chestnut is a bully tree, 
I mean both kinds, of course, 

The kind that bears the nuts you eat 
And the kind they call the horse. 

Horse chestnuts grow right on the street, 
And when the blooms are out, 

They look just like great Christmas trees 
With candles all about. 

The other kind is better, though, 
'Cause when the Fall comes 'round 

A million prickly balls drop down 
And burst upon the ground. 

And shining in the prickly balls 

Are nuts with little tails. 
And me and Susan pick them out 

And take them home in pails. 

And then Ma gets a great big pan. 
And fills the stove with wood, 

And then we roast them till they pop, 
And, gee I but they are good I 

[67] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
(Continued) 



The little birches, white and slim, 
Gleaming in the forest dim, 
Must think the day is almost gone, 
For each one has her nightie on I 



The larches are the lady pines — 

You'd know it by their hair, 
And by their prim and dainty ways 

And by the gowns they wear. 

Their gowns are green, their hair is fine 

And fluffy in the breeze ; 
And, just like girls, they huddle up 

Apart from other trees. 



[68] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
{Continued) 



By the little river, 

Still and deep and brown. 
Grow the graceful willows, 

Gently dipping down; 

Dipping down and brushing 
Everything that floats — 

Leaves and logs and fishes. 
And the passing boats. 

Were they water maidens 

In th^ long ago. 
That they lean out sadly 

Looking down below? 

In the misty twilight 
You can see their hair, 

'Weeping water maidens 
That were once so fair. 



[69] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
(Continued) 



** Cbtttp 36iipt •* 

Robins in the cherry tree, 
Come on and get a pail 1 

From white to green, 

From green to red, 

The cherries ripen over head, 

Until a luscious feast is spread 

For all who dare to climb; 

And every hungry bird has seen 

That it is dinner time. 

Robins in the cherry tree, 
Who^U help to fill the pail? 



[70] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
(Continued) 



When the maple sap is running 
In the Spring, 

'And the brooks have burst their fetters 
TiU they sing; 

When the snow is melting fast 
In the woods, 

And the winter-wrapped old mountains 
Doff their hoods; 

Then it's pail and spout and kettle, 
Tap and climb, 

All up the slopes of Toby- 
Sugar time ! 



€Ittu( 

The college elms for a mile 
Are like a great cathedral aisle ; 
But out along the river bend 
They're feather dusters stuck on end. 

[71] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES-- 
(Continued) 



The cedars grow upon the rocks 

Where other trees would die, 
And lift their aged branches up 

Against the mountain sky. 

I guess theyVe old men who've been there 
Since first the mountains were, 

And they are small and tough and cold. 
And always dressed in fir. 



The spruce is big and dark and strong, 
And much esteemed by some; 

They like it for its wood, but I 
Because it gives me gum. 



Tya] 



A LITTLE BOY'S POEMS ABOUT TREES— 
(Continued) 



The apple always was to me 
The very oldest kind of tree, 
Because its limbs are bent and low, 
And it never seems to grow. 
You see the orchard in the Fall 
Climbing by the grey stone wall, 
While the cart bumps down the hill 
Rattling to the cider mill. 
And the apple pickers shout. 
And the barrels stand about; 
But the crooked orchard trees 
Never rustle to the breeze, 
Never dance with morning light 
Or sigh and whisper in the night: 
Only when the shadows creep 
Purple down the hill-side steep 
And the sinking sun grows pale, 
In the orchard hangs a veil, 
And for just a moment then 
The crooked trees are young again. 



[73] 



WKbtn Utettlet ^lapK 

A GRAVE, tall, quiet man with chiselled face. 

Who tucks a plum-red box beneath his chin, 

Nods slightly to the leader of the band. 

And, looking far beyond the misty rows 

Of faces, shoulders, gleaming shirts, awaits 

The moment when the music summons him. 

Woodwind and 'cello die to whispered sound, 

His firm hand sweeps the bow across the stringsr^ 

And angels sing in their serenity! 

It is the quiet end of afternoon 

On upland slopes, when sunset green-and-gold 

Dips sweetly down behind the western range. 

And from the east the Night walks up the sky; 

It is the hole of blue between grey clouds 

That part at last, a finite wrack burst wide 

To show the Infinite ; it is the call 

Of all things perfect on this bungled globe. 

And, like things perfect, grave and pure and sad 

The last note dies away in thin-spun tone. 

And with a ghost-smile on his chiselled face 

He waits the upflare of the orchestra. 

Once more his firm bow leaps, and showered notes 

[74] 



._ J — -- 



WHEN KREISLER TLAYS— (Continued) 

Of bird song and June melody drop forth, 
Always to sink at length, as rapture sinks, 
Into the grave perfection of the hour 
When day is done and stillness folds the world. 
The great house scarcely breathed until the end. 
And then a mighty sigh arose before 
Six thousand hands were smote in glad acclaim. 
Descending, dazed, back into common day, 
I heard a woman in the seat behind 
Exclaim, "Do you suppose, my dear, that we 
Can get that record for our phonograph?" 



175] 



(B^e Comet Citpboatb 

You know those comer cupboards which once 

stood 
In ancient dining rooms, built in, with doors 
That arched into a fanlight at the top, 
With hand-wrought HL hinges, and inside 
A scallop shell that domed above the shelves; 
Made by the carpenter who built the house, 
They were a flower of old-time craftsmanship. 
Just such a one we wanted for our house 
To match the hinges we had gathered in, 
The hand-forged door pulls and the braided rugs; 
To keep the ancient flavour of our home 
And speak to us across the years of men 
Whose hearts co-laboured with their hands and 

wrought 
In humblest things the fairest shapes. 

At last, 
Close to the road beneath a mountain wall. 
And flanked by yawning barns and storm-wrecked 

trees. 
We chanced upon a grey, abandoned house, 
The winter packing left to rot the sills, 

[76] 



THE CORNER CUPBOARD— (Continued) 

The roof awry, the windows battered in, 
The whole a ruin that a few more storms, 
A few more winter frosts, would sag and heave 
Into the cellar for a compost heap. 
We tried the rusty latch, the door creaked wide, 
And stepping over fallen plaster, damp 
With rain, across the rotting floors, we found. 
Intact, the corner cupboard of our dreams, 
From fluted columns casing in the doors 
To hand-carved scallop shell 1 We rushed out- 
side, 
Intent to learn who owned the ruined house 
And rescue from its sure oblivion 
This treasure of the eighteenth century. 

A man and boy were in the field behind, 
Digging potatoes by the pine wood edge. 
( It often happens that the fields are worked 
Around these crumbling dwellings in our land.) 

"He owns it," said the boy, jerking his head 
Toward the old man who laboured at his side. 
"He lives just down the road a piece — his folks 
Are dead; you'll have ter speak a little loud. 
He's deef." 

The old man raised his pale blue eyes 
And let them wander past us to the house. 
"It's stood right thar," he said, "in that same 
spot, 

[77] 



THE CORNER CUPBOARD— (Continued) 

Since sevcntcen-scventy-f our ; I guess 

It ain't fer sale. Some other folks hev tried 

Ter buy it, too." 

"But it will be a wreck," 
We cried, "before three winters more I The roof 
Above already has begun to go; 
You know what dampness does to spoil a house." 
"No, I won't sell," the old man said again. 
"Some day Vm goin' ter fix the old place up." 
He gestured toward the stand of pines close by. 
With thin and shaking arm. "Thar's wood 

enough 
Ter build a dozen houses, and the bams. 
Yes, some day soon I'll fix it up. No, no— 
It ain't fer sale." 

We left him then, once more 
Bent double and with aged fingers crooked 
Clawing potatoes toward an old brown sack. 

"Stubborn, I call it," said my wife. "Repairs I 
This house could never be repaired, it's gone 
Past hope, and it will fall before he dies 
And smash that cupboard in the wreck. I'd like 
To come some night and cart it off I A thief ? 
It wouldn't seem like theft at all ; we'd be 
Doing a service to the cause of art." 

"And to our own domestic scheme," said I. 
"But, after all, the old man owns the place 

[78] 



THE CORNER CUFBOARD— (Continued) 

And In its rotting chambers live his dreams. 
He's going to fix it up some day. 'Some day 1*— < 
We never lose that vision till we die." 

My wife pulled gently shut the door, nor dared 
To look again at that old corner piece. 
"Poor man I" I heard her say. "Poor house, the 

home 
Of squirrels now — and ghosts 1" 

We drove away 
With but a backward glance that showed the 

house 
A grey old ruin framed in autumn gold, 
And in the field behind, bent double still, 
The aged owner picking up his crop, 
A few potatoes in a dirty sack, 
Against the solemn uprights of the pines. 



[79] 



efficiency 

■ 

We have a cabinet maker in our town ^ 

Who learned his trade in Italy, and loves 
More than the sight of some rare Chippendale 
To reproduce a piece himself, with here 
And there some little change that more refines, 
Or scroll and pattern of his own design. 
You cannot hurry him; he works by hand 
And like an artist broods the plan, to saw 
And scrape with happy haste when all goes well. 
To put a job aside for weeks, perhaps, 
When something else of more appeal turns up— 
Which is not good for business, of course. 
I often work beside him in his shop. 
Using his tools and his advice, and while 
I make some clumsy chair or mirror frame, 
He brings a lovely high-boy into life 
And vents his scorn on furniture that comes 
From "Meecheegan," turned out upon machines, 
Or tells me how in Italy, at home, 
"You want a t'ing, you tell the cabinet man, 
He make you what you want, it is all yours; 
And in his shop seventy-five, maybe, 
[80] 



EFFICIENCY— {Continued) 

Maybe a hundred boy all work and learn." 
Alas I he has but one to learn from him; 
The rest are turning lathes in "Meecheegan" — 
Unthinking cogs in that machine which is 
Our new industrial eflSciency. 

The other day, besides myself and Joe, 
The lad, a third had come to tinker there. 
So four of us were busy at our work. 
The pungent shavings curled up through my 

plane, 
Joe's saw was singing in a tight-grained board, 
A hammer rang, a chisel bit the wood — 
And Tony suddenly looked up and laughed: 
"Some busy, eh?'* he cried. "I like it sol 
I like it when the shave they pile up fast ; 
In my home, Italy, we work like that. 
Seventy-five, maybe, all make something 
Himself, the legs an' arms an' seat an' backl" 

His chisel bit the wood again, and he. 
With smiling face and eyes that saw far off, 
Began to sing, ''Donna e mobile/^ 



[81] 



Old Jones was pruning grapevines by his house. 
The house we'd come to see, perhaps to buy. 
The road up from the town was deep with mud, 
The early winter mud of our bleak land ; 
We hadn't passed a house for near a mile 
Save one, and that abandoned to the storms : 
We'd mounted steadily, with clearer view 
Of hills and valley and the windy sky. 
Toward Jones's farm, against the mountain wall, 
With growing terror at the cost of coal 
That must be hauled so far by such a road. 
And then we saw the house, the porch caved in, 
The shingles split and curled, the upper rooms 
Mere cubby holes below the eaves, a house 
So small it could be tucked inside the barn— - 
And would have gone away again, if Jones 
Hadn't spied us out and come with hobbling 

feet 
Down to the rotted gate. 

His feet were shod 
In felt-top rubber shoes, his stubbly beard 
Was brown and yellow with tobacco juice 
[82] 



VALVES— {Continued) 

Around his mouth and chin— elsewhere 'twas 

white ; 
His coat was patched, his trousers at the knees 
Bagged to the contour of his aged bones. 

"It's a good place," he said. "My father cut 
Nigh on ter forty ton o' hay deown thar 
Acrost the brook. 'Course, I ain't fertilised 
Much ez I should ; my keows, 'cept one, is gone. 
The heouse is good, though 'twouldn't harm it 

none 
To hev a coat o' paint." 

"How much?" said we. 
"Six thousand dollars an' the keow thrown in." 
"The man is mad I" she whispered in my ear. 
He did not hear — his look was far away. 

"The place hez always b'longed to one of us,'* 
The old man mused. "I couldn't let it go 
Fer less, an' all thet medder hay, an' woods, 
An' summer folks a-payin' fancy sums 
Fer farms thet ain't a patch on this one here.'* 
The woods had been stripped bare of pine ten 
years 
Or more ago; the meadow mowing now 
Was stiff with telltale stalks of Queen Anne's 

lace; 
The house was rotting at the sills. But he, 
A last dreg of the Puritans, saw what 

[83] 



VALUES— (Conriiftt^rf) 

It once had been, and what the accident 
Of mere possession might bring in to him, 
In spite of his neglect, if some fool man 
With money itching in his pocketbook 
Should take a fancy to it. So he dreamed, 
And we departed down the muddy road. 
Leaving behind what seemed to us a ghost, 
A poor, pathetic, stubborn g^ost, of those 
Who were the breed of Yankee pioneers. 



[84]^ 



3n ?Hti{on ^iinare 

A WIND blast of fine snow had scoured the walks 
In Union Square until they wore a glaze 
More treacherous than ice. My collar up, 
My head bent low to face the gale, I strode 
To reach the warm wood fires at a club 
Not far beyond, and dinner with my back 
Against a glowing grate. Midway across 
The park I saw a woman slip and fall. 
And with a crash her burden of split boards 
Went down beside her and slid sprawling out. 
Of course I hurried to her side, intent 
To see if she were hurt, and got my hands 
Beneath her arms, and lifted her — a load 
So light I braced for twice the needed pull— - 
And set her on her feet. She was not hurt. 
But, God I she hurt me as her eyes met mine I 
The gratitude of some stray cur was there 
When he expects a cuff and gets a bone, 
And licks your hand and will not go away. 
What had I done to earn a look like this? 
Then suddenly I saw! A dozen men 
Were passing by, like me, and not a one 

[85] 



IN UNION SQUARE— (Continued) 

Had more than turned his head ; only a boy. 

Ragged as she, had left his box of wood 

And now was gathering into a pile 

Her scattered load of broken boards. They say 

America has made its women queens ;— • 

And this dumb creature in her threadbare blade 

Could only look at me, a well-dressed man, 

As homeless dogs look up when they are fed 

And coaxed by kindness to forget their fear I 

She had no gloves; her red and claw-like hands 

Showed splits between the knuckles like raw 

wounds : 
Her coat would not have kept a kitten warm. 
I could not speak — a choke was in my throat, 
A pity fierce and hot had clutched my heart. 
I only put her load beneath her arm 
And in her hand what money I could spare. 
And ran, a coward, from her grateful eyes. 
I felt a guilty, helpless thing; — ^my guilt 
That I should be a partner in the crime 
Of making any woman anywhere 
Amazed at chivalry, and maldng, too. 
The poverty that sinks to taking alms; 
My helplessness that I should be but one 
Of all the millions guilty of this crime. 
"Oh, God," I prayed, "make me not to forget 
This aching pity that is at my heart, 

[86] 



IN UNION SQUARE— (Continued) 

Make me to fight against the monster, Greed, 
And help to bring the day of Brotherhood, 
When none shall go in furs till all are clad, 
When in America there are no queens. 
But every woman holds her head erect. 
The happy mistress of a happy home I" 



[87] 



0ip ifrfetib 

The friend I love is like the sea to me. 
With spacious days of large tranquillity 
When on my heart his wordless comforts lie» 
As on the utter sea rim rests the sky; 
And like the sea for wrath he is, and strong 
To launch his surges on the cliffs of Wrong; 
But mosit I love him for his deep-sea spell 
Of unguessed secrets that he may not tell: 
So I have seen him stand and look afar 
Beyond the twilight to the evening star, 
And like the ocean^s haunting lure to me. 
Deep in his eyes I read a mystery:— 
For he whose soul we fathom to the end 
Becomes our servant then, and not our f riend. 



[88] 



*' 3 Sbfte^ of Xob^ 



f» 



I ASKED of Love no other thing than thisi» 
That he should lead me once unto her kiss 
I Whose lips in dreams o'er my lips slowly bent: 

But he for answer led me to a place 
Where I forgot the image of her face, 
And Idssed an earthly sweetheart well content* 



T»9T 



VtwMfrnniatUm 

She came up the pasture slope 
With sunlight in her hair, 

And so I took her by the hand 
And saw the world was fain 

She came through the city streets 
And smiled upon my frown, 

And so I kissed her on the mouth 
And straight forgot the town. 



[901 



Sti tbt Catfielital 

K STEP, a portal s welcoming — 
We leave the human stream: 

Thinly the hidden voices sing, 
The altar candles gleam; 

Like stars they shine about the feet 

Of Him men crucified; 
Aloft the springing columns meet 

In arches multiplied, 

In arches graceful as the bend 

Of saplings under snow ; 
High in each lofty transept end 

The great rose windows glow; 

The kneeling worshippers are few, 
Like shadows in dim grass, 

And on their hearts is dropped the dew 
Of comfort, ere they pass. 

O great cathedral, solemn, high, 

A shelter from the world. 
Your fan vaults are a second sky, 

In twilight purple furled. 

[91] 



IN THE CATHEDRAL— (Continued) 

I bless you for your dusk retreat. 
That meant for me— just this : 

Not ten steps off the teeming street 
I won her precious kiss I 



I9*] 



Wbtn ^ttlU lHabetf 

'A CAT bird calling in the brush 

To break the still noon's sleepy hush, 

A lazy, gliding little boat 

That creeps in where the grasses float. 

And dreams of idling happy days 

Through endless winding water ways, 

A clear pool brown on yellow sand 

With alder screens on either hand— 

And white feet in the water there, 

And bronze lights in your sun-filled hair I 

The water that has kissed your knees 

Runs on beneath the arching trees, 

And babbles of its happy lot 

To every shallow, pebbled spot, 

Until at last it joins the sea 

To chant the breakers' litany, 

Where, 'twixt the moon and evening star. 

The long waves sing how sweet you are. 



[93] 



iHpHope 

When first at dawn I saw you stand 
Against the sunshine in the window square, 
A dew-glossed morning-glory in your hand. 

And in your hair 
The ripples of the morning air, 
The sweetness of you overcame my eyes, 
Nor from my lips would your sweet name arise, 

You were so fair. 

» 

Since that time many a dawn has crept 
With song of birds and rosy flush of light 
Into the still, cool chamber where we slept. 

And to my sight, 
After the dream scenes of the night. 
Has come the realised image of your face, 
And white-robed body moving with the grace 

Of angels bright. 

So when the dream scenes of this world 
Are scattered by God's morning bursting dear, 
And like a scroll our little lives are furled. 

How shall I fear, 

[94] 



MY HO?Er^(Continued) 

Who all the night have felt you near 
To rouse me with renewed betrothal kiss, 
To make each sunrise a new dawn of bliss>, 

And Heaven more dear! 



l9S]' 



What have I brought you, dear, 

Who gave me love and strength and counsel 
wise, 

And girt me for my high emprise? 
I come before you bowed with fear. 

I have so little done 

Of all I dreamed to do in pay, 
And evening shadows dusk the day. 

To warn the laggard of the failing sun. 

Will you at twilight stand 

Against the West, like my avenging Fate» 

To bar the thrice desired gate, 
A flaming sword in your soft hand? 

Ah, no, not that, dear heart I 

The dose-companioned, striving yearSi 
The closer comradeship of tears, 

You will not put away for baser part—* 

Nor count the fame you missed 

Against the glory of the love you found, 

[96] 



"WHAT HAVE I BROVGHT V'—iContinuid) 

That folded you forever round 
In silences where angels kissed. 

Just for that love I bore, 

Who gave naught else but love to thee, 

rYou will be very kind to me, 
And stretch your waiting arms from Eden's doon 



[971 



36itstpmsllhmtp 

Her hands lay clasped about my neck, her face 

Looked up to me with that sweet smile it wears 

When she has mind to speak of grave affairs, 

And buys a hearing first with her embrace. 

"I fear you love me, Dear, for some stray grace 

You find in me of voice or form," she said, 

"For there is little wit in my poor head 

To gain within your deeper thoughts a place; 

But, Love, I love you so that I can be 

In all things that I learn from you, your mate, 

No better and no worse — ^Ah, Sweet, the weight 

Of my small soul lies on you heavily 1" 

Then came her tears. I kissed her silently. 

But in my heart I cried, "O God, the weight I" 



[98T 



"Tell me,*' she said, as dose to me she pressed 

And stroked my hair with her slim finger tips, 

"What did you feel when first I kissed your lips?"" 

So tenderly I took her to my breast, 

This answer making to her sweet behest:— 

At first alone such sense-subduing thrill 

As in the vast of Heaven, starry still, 

Must come at sudden song-burst of the Blest. 

Then, when the first glad rapture was gone by, 

I saw my soul had walked abroad and grown; 

Above my head there arched a purer sky. 

Bright o'er a fairer land than I had known : 

And feeling there all selfishness depart, 

I knew that country was a woman's hearL 



[99) 



• • 



Wbt 0Utmtp S>at|^ 3tK 0iUtsttmiti 

The memory hath its milestones, deeply scored, 
Rare moments in the passing of the years 
When the pent soul its call to freedom hears : 
This day— one reads — the vision walked abroad 
Into a solemn western radiance poured 
Like balm of Grace upon cold death-bed fears; 
This summer noon unbidden came the tears; 
And once on midnight waters spoke the Lord. 

Cut deep are these : but deeper, sweeter sdll 
The words, / kissed you in a trembling hush, 
And your lips answered mine for all reply; 
That stone stands up against a day-break sky. 
Transfigured, holy, in the mystic blush. 

Where the long roadway crests the highest hill. 



[100] 



And did I leave you but an hour hence, 
With your kiss warm upon my lips, your face 
A shadowed glory in that glimmering place 
Where subtle silence smote upon the sense 
Of being, till we were but one inunense 
Hot heart throb of the pulse of Life, the race 
Of life blood through the arteries of space. 
Chanting the song of Love's onmipotence? 

An hour? No, a day, a week, a year! 

Your kiss is cold upon my lips, your hair 

That crowned with dusk those brows which are 

so fair 
No longer thrills me with its feathered fire: 
Into my lonely chamber stalks a fear— » 
Can kindled souls too eagerly aspircPj 



Tioi] 



21 Jfotgotten 0utttn 

We stood within a garden long forgot; 
The city's clangour surged without unheard; 
Only the twitter of a nesting bird 
Deepened the silence of the drowsy spot: 
The sun across the weed-choked beds lay hot 
And still ; the guarding poplars faintly stirred 
To whisper to the noon their silken word 
Of slumberous peace : for us the world was not 

Ah, heart that bleeds against the thorns of fate, 
The dust, the turmoil, and the prize forego. 
And seek and find and creep in through that gate 
Where you with Love may sweeter prizes win, 
Where poppies and neglected roses blow^ 
A citadel of silence in Life's din» 



[102] 



emit 

We know not what we sought was Merlin's quest? 
We know not, nor much care : Old Merlin's dead> 
And green the grass grows o'er his hollow head, 
The secret of his search for aye unguessed: 
We only know that some divine behest 
In our hearts too hath breathed command and 

said— 
Be up and searching e'er the dawn is red. 
For scarce at evening shall you find your rest. 

And so we sought till soothing darkness crept 
With soft enfolding arms and languid kiss 
Out of the East across the summer sea; 
And came no whisper where the waters slept?— 
"Thy search is ended, for the goal was this — 
Heaven foreboded in a memory." 



[103] 



To east and west the river mezdcfws liei 
Alive with bent, brown grasses lifting slow 
Where treads the wind, invisible and low, 
Abroad beneath the solemn sunset sky: 
Long forest waves pour down on either hand, 
Dim billows faintly lit with autumn gold, 
That crest against the sky line sharp and cold, 
A bounding wall of darkness to the land. 

Across a frost-filled, cloud-flecked sky the light 
Streams up and eastward to the rising night, 
And mystic union makes in deep-hushed space. 
So from my heart its purest fires arise 
To greet the dear, dusk longing in your eyes; 
Breathless we stand in sudden soul embrace. 



[I04]l 



JUat 

Why should I weep for you to-night, poor child, 

Who followed but your nature's bent for ease, 

Turning from me as one too hard to please, 

To seek a love untroublesome and mild? 

God's temple in us is not thus defiled; 

The sins that damn are sterner stuff than these 

Poor failures of a timid soul to seize 

The challenge of a soul more free and wild. 

And yet I think of you, still loved so well. 
As you would think of one gone down to hell : 
You chose the vale who might have walked the 

height. 
You scorned the purple for the common grey; 
So, dear, I weep for you this bitter night, 
Who sleep so safe and warm so far away I 



T105T 



There is a girl whom I know well 
Over the hill by the edge of town, 
And she looks forth till I come to her; 
But I linger here on the wind-swept down, 

What with the wind and sun and sky 
There's hardly room in my mood to-day 
For the give and take of human speech. 
For intricate passions' interplay. 

Have you never watched a child alone, 
A comradely smile on its little face, 
Prattling to spirits by you unseen, 
And felt an intruder within the place? 

So my soul speaks with the sun and wind, 
And my smile greets the wind and sky, 
To the whispered word of the old green earth 
My lone ear listens secretly. 

Yet I shall crest the hill at last 
With joyous feet to the girl I love. 
By some resistless impulse driven 
Like homing birds in the blue above. 
[io6] 



THE LOVER SFEAKS— (Continued) 

And she will greet me with reproach 
For lingering on the road so long, 
Then give me of her lips to kiss 
And charm my spirit with her song. 

And 'twill be very sweet to slip 
Into the chains of love once more — 
Yet sweet to think that the soul can fly 
[When the wind comes knocking at the door. 



[107] 



The night comes on, he cried, when paths must 

part 
And each soul, lonely, while the slow tears start, 
Toil darkly on unto a lonely bed. 
(The day is very long and sweet, she said. 

The ways of death are wonderful and dread 
And man must face them with uncovered head, 
And solemn thoughts bom of a solemn fear. 
The ways of life are wonderful and dear. 

And yet, he said, a moment may be ours 
To loiter languid through the fading flowers 
That with the summer, like ourselves, must die. 
Too late, she sighed, the moment has gone by. 



[108] 



[A ROSE glow glims the western wall, 
The sweet night faints to dawn, 

And from the folds of outer dark 
Another day is born. 

So I must rise and greet the world 

As it were still the same, 
As if my Love^ierself could rise 

And answer to her name. 

And I must fret and smile and toil 

Where alien faces teem, 
Ere night will come again with stars 

And bring again my dream. 



[109] 



JLitt, t^t Ztmptttisl 

''Embrace me, I am Love," she said. 
And white her bosom gleamed ; 
Its half-hid, pallid marble seemed 
To mock her ripe mouth's riper red. 

"Have pity, I am Life," she said, 
"What hast thou done to me?" 
Her mouth was pale as corpses be, 
Ah, God, but her struck bosom bled I 



m 

Whose footsteps never strayed across 
The bridge that spans Life's border stream, 
Unknowing, never count the loss 
Of those dim landscapes of the dream: 

But we whose feet once sped afar 
Athwart the wind-swept slopes of dawn, 
Or drove beneath the luring star, 
Sit by our prosy hearths and mourn, 
[no] 



I 



Years passed and the hair was gfey, 
Then power came and will; 

But in the bosom of the Man 
The voice of Youth was still. 



SUmmme 

The rising curtain shall roll up the years, 
Till youth defies the tyranny of fact, 
And art restores by ages-old compact 

The pain of laughter and the joy of tears. 



[Ill] 



The clock is sa^dng "Midnight" to the moon, 
While I stare blankly at my blank white pad, 
And cannot write one line of loveliness 
Before I sleep, one line to tell the world 
My eyes have seen, my heart has felt to-day 
A beauty on the grey November hills, 
A flush of greeting on a woman's face. 
To sing itself immortal in a phrase. 
I only smile at my own vanity — 
"Immortal," what a word to use I — and ya?m 
And go to bed. So ends a prosy day. 



[I12]i 



$an on 'Cj^nBe 

Here to this roaring street, 
Shut in by granite walls that dwarf the day, 
Where thousands meet 
With secret weapons for the open fray, 
Came singing songs and piping dances wild 
A minstrel child. 

They heard him not who hurried on so fast, 
Or hearing had no time to understand; 
But he shall pipe triumphant at the last- 
When bare about him lies the wasted land. 



Stalp 

The burdened beauty of the centuries 
Lay heavy on this land, whereto we came 
With harp-strung hearts to catch its antique 

song — 
The song we heard was fresh as Eden's dawn. 

["3] 



The endless billows lay their burdens down 

On barren beach and by the busy town ; 

By night and day, while tired mortals sleep 

Or while the sun track dances on the deep. 

Up from the world rim tramp the sleepless host 

And quick receding in the deep are lost; 

No word they speak save one sad, ceaseless moan, 

As if of toihng they were weary grown, 

Of age-long wayfaring by ancient tempests tossed. 



C"4l 



^ttbe— ifat a dictate 

The grass was soft along her naked side, 
And on the brown pool where the ripples died 

Her white reflection lay; 
Her lids were closed against the noon-tide 

heat, 
The little star flowers white about her feet 
Where not so white as they. 

And no rude satyr, leering through the leaves, 
Disturbed the spell that dreamy slumber 
weaves 

When summer's sun is high— • 
The spell that woke a smile upon her lips, 
And idly stirred the rosy finger tips 

Which rested on her thigh* 

Her bosom's curve was sweeter than the curl 
Of crested wave, or sea-worn, perfect pearl; 

And sweeter than the line 
Of far blue mountains low against the west, 
Lay cool and straight within their grassy nest 

Her slender limbs supine. 

[115]- 



NUDE— FOR A PICTURE— (Coii/i««erf) 

Was she some happier Eve in Eden bower, 
Where never serpent coiled round fruit or flower, 

Nor voice of God was heard? 
Or was she Beauty's self, who flees afar, 
Mocking from hidden dell or furthest star 

Or voice of sky-borne bird? 

We know not, nor in this world shall we know; 
Only that summer day she slumbered so. 



tii6]l 



fK%t €utuA—^imttm 

Below the stately college 
That crowns the swelling hill, 

It wanders by the lake side, 
Sober, slow and still; 

Free of the smoky city 

Where tall warehouses penned^ 
Forgetful of the city 

Where its far courses end; 

Idly it dreams of summer, 
Of wandering winds that sigh ; 

And in its placid bosom 
It holds the summer sky. 

The white, clean lock is empty 
Beneath its willow tree. 

And on the bridge the keeper 
Sits dozing peacefully ; 

The cloud craft trail their anchors 

Across the lifting hill, 
The paddle drips, and faintly 

Buzzes a distant mill. 

["7l 



THE CANAI^PRINCETON— (Coii/iii«eJ) 

I watch your dear face soften 
And lose its tired frown : 

Ah, Love, how life grows sweeter, 
But fifty miles from town I 



) 
f 



tii8] 



0n tbt Summit 

One final panting push and pull. 

One dash along the ledge, 
And on our sight burst fair and full 

The blue world to its edge ; 

Its edge that ringed us where we stood 

Alone beneath the sky, 
Above the plain, above the wood, 

Above the wild bird's cry. 

We counted sleepy towns that hid 

Along the river ways. 
We hailed Monadnoc's pyramid 

Against the northern haze. 

The Berkshires huddled shadow-gloomed 

Into the sinking sun. 
Only their royal summits loomed 

And kindled one by one — 

And kindled into amethyst 
Each with a crown of gold, 

The mountain monarchs keeping tryst 
As in the days of old. 

[X19] 



ON THE SUMMIT— (Coii/i»«^J) 

The valley lights came out below, 
The stars came out above, 

The darkness gathered soft and slow 
like God's enfolding love. 

At last there was no world to see ; 

Buoyed on the midnight deep, 
Two night guests of Eternity, 

We lay down to our sleep. 



[120] 



la iNmg f torn iBroabioap 

I*m tired of these clanging streets, 

Fm weary of Broadway; 
I want to hear a hermit thrush 

Sing at the close of day. 

I don't care what becomes of art, 

Nor how the market goes ; 
I want to smell the leaf mould wherei 

The sky-blue gentian blows. 

I meet a million faces here 

And hate them every one; 
I want to hide my face in moss 

And sinmier in the sun. 

I'm sick of all this smell of dust, 

I'm sick of tainted air ; 
I long to feel the mountain wind 

Come lifting through my hair. 

How deep the star-lit nights and cool. 
How bright the days and sweet, 

Back where the upland meadows spread 
Their velvet for my feetl 

[121] 



A SONG FROM BROADWAY— (CpnHnued) 

A twilight hush enfolds the world, 
The mountain shadows creep 

Across the wood, across the fields, 
The couriers of sleep. 

Only the crickets' elfin chimes. 
Like sleigh bells in the grass, 

Shall number for my drowsy ear 
The hours as they pass. 

A blessed stillness steals my sense. 
My heedless footsteps stray . • • 

A honk, a cry, a hectic throng — 
I'm walking on Broadway I 



[122] 



The scent of lilac in the air 

Has made him drag his steps and pause; 
Whence comes this scent within the Square 
Where endless dusty traffic roars? 
A pushcart stands beside the curb, 

With fragrant blossoms laden hig^ ; 
Speak low, nor stare, lest we disturb 
His sudden reverie. 

He sees us not nor heeds the din 

Of clanging car and shuffling throng; 
His eyes see fairer sights within, 
And memory hears the robin's song 
As once it trilled against the day, 
And shook his slumber in a room 
Where drifted with the breath of May 
The lilac's sweet perfume. 

The heart of boyhood in him stirs ; 

The wonder of the morning skies, 
Of sunset gold behind the firs. 

Is kindled in his dreaming eyes: 

["3] 



THE LILAC^iContinued) 

How far off is this sordid place. 
As turning from our sight zwzji 

He crushes to his hungry face 
A purple lilac spray 1 



["4T 



0n iBefng Wafceb hp a Jfattorp ^{tl 

Ringing 

You wake me with your shrill soprano, 

Sloe-eyed Yiddish maid, 
Singing as you hem a coat sleeve 

Or turn a strip of braid; 
I lie in bed and curse your tumult 

That spoiled my morning rest, 
And wonder who on earth concocted 

That early-rising jest; 
He may get up what time it please him — 

For that, and so may you — 
But by what right do you compel me 

To lose my best sleep, too? 
Confound you, it's a beastly outrage. . . , 

But what is that you sing — 
A queer, outlandish, Slavic folk-song, 

A plaintive, minor thing? 
Perhaps they sang it in the steerage 

To soothe your eyelids down, 
Perhaps for you it means the homeland 

In this great, homeless town I 
My broken dreams were of a homeland 

[1*5] 



ON BEING WAKED BY A FACTORY GIRL 
SINGING— ( Continued) 

Afar from these drab wails, 
Where woodlands spread, and on the grasses 

At night the sweet dew falls ; 
My fellow in the prison city, 

I rise to face the day, 
And humbly send my prayer for pardon 

Across the area-way I 



[126] 



ttpQ a Jfate, on Ifyt Slialto 

Lost shqpherd of some flock on the hills, 
Why do you haunt me with those dream- 
dimmed eyes? 

Why does your face out of a thousand leap, 
Here where the moon in sickly lamplight dies? 

Over your pasture slope that low moon wanes, 
And soft against the hill the white sheep stray, 

Where feathered shadows lie upon the grass; 
— But you see not for gazing on Broadway. 

Under fantastic lights you pass, like us, 
A painted scene and painted folk to view : 

But in your eyes the stars are mirrored deep. 
And underneath your feet you feel the dew! 



[127T 



niafi^togtim Innate, iBtortj^ 

Red-bricked and sunny in a cheerful row, 

Unboastful of the beauty they possess. 

These ancient houses face the square; the stress 

Of commerce from the nervous town below 

Swept 'round and far beyond them long ago ; 

Upon their view the high warehouses press; 

But they abide in their old-worldliness, 

And time with them moves graciously and slow. 

Not otherwise when time and age advance 
May I look forth on some green spot in life. 
And keep the world aloof to see the sun, 
And hold the children in a kindly glance, 
Thus peacefully to pass out from the strife, 
Unsoiled, unwearied, when my day is done. 



[128J 



I 

\ 



The doorway of their coop unloosed, they spring 
Straight up above the roof-tops noisily; 
An instant pause, a sudden swoop of glee, 
Then high against the blue on tireless wing 
Their wide-expanding, perfect circles fling; 
From that great height they look to open sea, 
The far green woods smile up invitingly;— 
But still the keeper counts their homecoming. 

So on a day the human spirit flies 
Its prison house of daily, dull routine, 
To feel the rapture of the upper skies 
And see the world lie in a hush of green : 
But ever comes the spirit back once more 
And the grim Keeper smiles and bars the door. 



[129] 



WMdXuit WW tyt Sttttg 9WXt 

Across the salt-cool, restless river way 

Manhattan stands up ragged on the sky, 

Each crag-like tower lined majestically 

Against the kindling east, each building grey 

A ruddy herald of the new-born day; 

The caiioned cross streets where the night lamps 

die 
Are sun-pierced gorges to eternity; 
And high above the cloudy smoke plumes play. 

Ah, fretful man, the beauty is not thine I 
Thy stubborn will upflingest steel and stone, 
But mightier Nature claims once more her own; 
She yields to thee her quarry and her mine — 
With thy small mounds to mimic mountain 

heights, 
To clothe thy bareness in her morning lights I 



[130T 



Yoxj saw him sit with vine leaves in his hair 
While your dark angel snared his soul to hell; 
Your mocking laughter was his funeral knell; 
And when Death brought its load for you to bear, 
With scornful face victoriously fair, 
The lip-line curling till the comers fell, 
You lightly gave what most men dearly sell 
And tossed your life to answer Death its daret 

We should of course dub you a shocking thing 
Since neither woman's soul was yours, nor heart : 
And yet for this we feel the slow blood start. 
And thank you, while our pagan pulses sing, 
Who such magnificent defiance hurled 
At that colossal bore we call the World I 



[1311 



From act to act we followed her, as straight 
The drama moved to its appalling end; 
Too well we knew no angel would forfend 
This passion's plaything from her utter fate; 
We heard behind her jar the closing gate 
Which, letting out, lets in no more till death ; 
Round our souls too there rushed with tainted 

breath 
That doven-footed world of lust and hate. 

The sullen curtain rolled between at last : 
Silent we rose, and silent still we passed 
Into the night, and sought each other's eyes ; 
"My Love". — the words shook slow as when one 

wakes 
From pain — "we shall forget when morning 

breaks!" 
But God's calm stars were sadder in the skies. 



[132] 



Wbt Coioat)! 

They say that character results from this, 
That we have lived misfortune down, grown grey 
In breeding hopes for hopeless Time to slay. 
Greeted calamity as with a kiss. 
And on the lone grave of our cherished bliss, 
When we have laid our poor dead dreams away. 
Have only paused a moment there, to pray. 
And then passed on, nor deemed the world amiss. 
A strong man takes his strokes, waxing more 

strong ; 
The coward heart demands immunity, 
Nor dares to lay his dead beneath the sod. 
Nor craves to live when life has lost its song? 
If this be so there is no strength in me, 
I cringe a coward at the feet of God 



[133] 



I MET the soul of a little child 

Wandering on the earth; 
Its face wore neither an angel's smile 

Nor a human glance of mirth; 

But only a look of troubled quest. 

As it had lost its way 
And knew not where to turn for help 

At the darkening end of day. 

I spoke It gently: "Little child,'* 
I said, and stooped to hear, 

"Why do you wander in the world, 
Is Heaven, then, not near?" 

"Heaven? I never heard of that,** 
The sad-faced soul replied; 

"Is it a place where I might rest 
With others who have died?'* 

"It is a place where all souls rest, 
They tell us who still live; 

A blessed boon of joy and song 
Rejoicing God to give." 

[134] 



■ — - ^>--~— 



THE SEARCH— (Continued) 

"I do not know it," said the child. 

"I only know my feet 
Arc weary with the endless search 

In market place and street, 

All up and down the paths of men, 
Through peaceful ways and strif 

The search for what I never find. 
The lost days of my life. 

"I died when I was young," it said, 

"To manhood never grew; 
I search and search with heavy heart 

For what I never knew. 

Have you seen them — ^my unspent days? 

Find them I must," it cried. 
"They were given me alone to live. 

To me, and then I died. 

When I have found them, found my own, 

What need of Heaven then? 
God gave me days enough, I'm sure. 

With three score years and ten. 

I do not ask for more than those. 

But they were mine to keep; 
When I have found my poor lost days 

I only ask to sleep." 

[135] 



THE SZARCH—iContmieJ) 

So speaking, turned die soul avay, 

Wandering on the earth, 
With only a, look of troubled quest 
On a face God made for mirtL. 



[I3«I 



fMt i^ttoat 

A WILD old cat lives in our barn ; 

She has three kittens 

And they are wilder still; 

They scurry underneath the hay 

When we attempt to coax them up 

Or give them milk; 

She's teaching them to capture mice 

'■ — ^And birds: 

They will grow up into wild old cats 

And never know 

How good a hearth rug is, or patted fur. 

Of course we are annoyed — 

A cat should be subservient to man : 

But they are silly things 

And seem greatly to desire 

Just to be cats. 



[137]' 



36ittuqtti 

'My motor headlights pierce the dark 
And make a racing revelation in the 

night; 
Speed and the rushing of wind. 
The flying ribbon of the road, 
The melting shadows and obscurity, 
Combine to build a dim dream world 
Of all the thrice familiar way, 
A hectic haste of midnight unreality. 
Seel out of the dark in front, 
Madly, in terror. 
As if some Fate pursued, 
A scurry of little people rush, 
Across the road, into the dark again. 
On past the turn. 
And more small folk. 
Singly sometimes, again in crowds, 
Dash into the headlights* glare. 
And out once more. 
Made quick by nameless dread — 
The people of a city doomed to fall. 
The helpless refugees who hear 

[138] 



REFUGEES— (Continued) 

The tramp of armies unopposed .. . 

The autumn leaves 

Swept by the wind across the tarvia, ( 



[X39] 



Xatitern i^lMttitiiB; 

I WENT out across the yard 

A lantern in my hand. 

And the shadows of my legs 

Like great black shears 

Snipped at the high lights 

On the dim barn wall. 

Fantastic, angular, immense. 

These shadows troubled me— » 

I saw them suddenly reveal 

[The human gesture's vast futility. 



T140] 



The farmer who once owned my place 

Put wire fences 

All aroimd the orchard, 

Fixed to chestnut posts 

With two-inch staples driven deep. 

Now I am tearing this fence down 

With bitter labour, post by post. 

He wanted to protect his apple trees from cows; 

I want a sweep of lawn beneath the blossom 

sprays. 
He tried to make the farm yield him a wage ; 
I get my wage some other way — 
That's why I now am owner here. 
Meanwhile the cost of fruit and beef and milk 

goes up; 
Still, I shall have my lawn. 



ti4i] 



Twilight was creeping on — 

The hosts of darkness marching from the East, 

While in the West 

The last red banner of defeated day 

Was drooping, as the wind died down, 

Upon a sky-line cool with lemon gold. 

My snowshoes creaked on stiffening crust; 

A startled rabbit, scarce discerned, 

Scampered through rattling underbrush ; 

And frozen silence wrapped the world. 

The valley lights were lit 

When I broke through a fringe of wood 

And saw below the snowy roofs of men. 

A thin, faint, fragrant smell of smoke 

Stung in my nostrils 

And made me pause to think 

How delicate our senses are in mountain air. 

Then quickly plunging down the slope, 

While darkness gloomed the trail, 

I came past fir trees where the pheasants roost 

To my back lot. 

And so, through naked garden paths, 

[142] 



HOME COMING^(Continued) 

To where my study door 

Showed a red square against the night. 

With dancing flickers from the great birch log, 

Andy crossing twixt the fire and door, 

kXhe shadow outline of my Well Beloved.. 



ti43T